Elbow pain can be agony because this joint has very little soft tissue protection. If you develop elbow pain and disability, visit Kellie K. Middleton, MD, in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Dr. Middleton offers conservative treatments like physical therapy, advanced injectables for more persistent or painful cases, and expert surgery for patients with severe elbow pain. Call Kellie K. Middleton, MD, to request an evaluation or schedule a consultation online today.
Your elbow is a hinge where three bones meet — the humerus (upper arm bone) and the radius and ulna (forearm bones). It flexes and extends your arm.
Elbow injuries often cause pain — accidentally bumping your funny bone (the name given to the area behind your elbow housing the ulnar nerve) triggers pain that’s often intense but soon subsides with no lasting effects. However, a more serious injury is likely to cause additional symptoms, such as:
Elbow injuries typically occur when playing sports or result from falls. Your risk of an elbow injury is higher if you participate in soccer, skateboarding, wrestling, snowboarding, skiing, or hockey. Direct blows or twisting the joint can also cause elbow pain.
These injuries might damage your ligaments, tendons, bones, muscles, and nerves, causing strains, sprains, fractures, dislocations, or neuropathy (nerve damage). A biceps tendon injury is one of the more common problems. You could also get an ulnar collateral ligament (UCL) sprain.
Repeated stress on the elbow can cause overuse injuries that develop more slowly, like tendinitis and bursitis. Lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow) and medial epicondylitis (golfer’s elbow) are common overuse injuries.
Chronic elbow pain is most likely due to arthritis. Many kinds could affect your elbow, but osteoarthritis (age-related joint degeneration) and rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disorder) are the most likely.
If you suddenly injure your elbow, stop what you’re doing immediately and rest the arm. Use ice packs to lessen swelling and take nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to fight pain and reduce inflammation.
If your elbow pain doesn’t improve, visit Dr. Middleton. She designs a suitable treatment program targeting the cause of your condition after completing a thorough exam and making a diagnosis. Your plan might include physical therapy, steroid injections, or injectable biological treatments like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) or ReNu®.
Surgeries for elbow pain include:
The surgery involves reattaching the ulnar tendon to the radius bone.
During UCL reconstruction, Dr. Middleton replaces the damaged tendon with one harvested from your hamstring, forearm, or foot. She attaches it to the bones using holes she drills into the humerus and ulna bones. It’s often known as Tommy John surgery after the baseball pitcher who first had the operation.
Call Kellie K. Middleton, MD, if you have severe or persistent elbow pain, or book an appointment online today.